Monday, June 01, 2009

Sleeping In Airports

(or: Snoozing in SNA)
Photo of Orange County Airport found here

This is how it goes down. I'm always on the last flight of the evening, and the last flight of the evening is always late. I'm tired. I want to go home. I want to sleep. I pretzel myself trying to lay down on a row of those godforsaken airport seats, but there is no possible solution to that puzzle that results in anything but bruised hips/legs/shoulders. I'd say it's like trying to put a square peg in a round hole, but really it's more like putting silly putty into a toaster. All the excess goos over the side, and what goes in between the bars just ain't pretty. Okay, the silly putty would have to have bones. Wait, this analogy is getting way too concurrently gross and messy. I'll start again. It's like a game of Tetris I play with my body, and the only possible solution is a fail. Steel bars? Yeah, that was a GREAT idea, Southwest. You guys are just awesome.

Eventually I always lay down on the floor to sleep. I don't know why airport departures to my vacation destination are so easily filled with lattes, book-reading, and hope in a full upright position, but on the way home I am generally in a state of near-coma and about as anxious as a squirrel who wants to get back into her hole in the ground. Only there's no hole to which I may escape. I lay on the floor, which is made of carpet slightly less comfortable than granite rock. For my head? I make a pillow out of my backpack, which leads to the inevitable laptop-, magazine-, and bag of skittles-shaped hieroglyphics in my face by the time I get on the plane.

Generally, airports are as warm as San Francisco on a windy day, so there I lay all indigent looking for the two hours until my flight comes. Good times, Airport; Good times. I should mention that some of my recent nap attempts include: Orange County, Ontario, LAX, and San Diego. I'm convinced that the arctic temperature of airports is a thinly veiled ploy to sell fleece blankets, but that's topic for another day. Generally there's some shivering involved, and I will pull as much of myself as I can up inside my hooded sweatshirt, retreating like an angry snail. If I have earplugs, all the better.

The problem? Okay, maybe you don't know this about me from my eight bajillion other posts, but I'm kind of neurotic. Let me take you one level deeper into my Crazy.

I'm kind of weird about trying to control every single body function in public. Like every one. Examples? Bathrooms are a completely private matter. I hate public restrooms because of the audio factor. Random stray hairs gross me out on the floor (or wherever). Forcing me to see and hear other people clipping their toenails is tantamount to waterboarding me. Basically anything body-function related gives me the gags. So the idea that I would gross someone out with some uncontrollable side effect of human existence really gives me pause.

You should hear E's fam tease me about my sneezing. Since he and I dated (like, way back when I was 16 and stuff) I can't sneeze in front of them. I hold it in. Know what happens when you try to hold a sneeze in? It has to come out somewhere. Kaaaa----BAM. It sounds hilarious. I know this, and I can't help myself. Okay, I'm a little bit braver about sneezing now than I used to be, but every once in a while I sneeze and I try to keep it inside, and.......... BAM. Why do I do that? Leftover high school fears of sneezing and not being in reach of a Kleenex, from those classes where the teachers wouldn't let you go get a Kleenex if your life depended on it. (Yeah, K, like you.) :) I can't have the snots all over my face, now can I? So in the cost-benefit analysis of whether to sneeze all over myself like some uncaring Anglo-Saxon dweeb, or have a sneeze-splosion, I choose the latter.

So as I lay on that airport floor trying to sleep, I have fear. The same thing happens to me when I sleep in a hotel room with anyone non-family or in a room with friends. Fear that all of my best laid plans to appear practically perfect in every way will be betrayed by some unconscious sleep embarrassment. Fear my body will betray my cool by drooling, snoring, or God knows what else. So I just try to lay there and think still thoughts. Don't fail me now, Body. Keep it together. And I try not to laugh too hard at myself because nobody else gives a flying hoot about anything like that. But it makes me not able to sleep when I share a room with someone new, and it makes me loath to sleep in airports.

Only I do. I am such a bundle of contradictions. Oh, the contradictions. Poor E. Welcome to his reality.

I managed a little sleep last night in the Orange County Airport. This was aided by the fact that there was nary a charging station (or even an outlet for the love of Pete) and the fact that my iPhone battery was limping along after a day at Disneyland. Our plane came and I stumbled aboard and tried, as always, to ignore my semi-crippling fear of flying, wedged myself in between Mom and the window seat in an immovable sit-sleep, and passed out for all of 20 more minutes. I was home by midnight, and my bed was the best thing I'd ever seen. God bless you, Bed.

1 comment:

  1. the seats in some of the Peruvian airports were even worse than southwest. There was a long block of plastic with seats molded into it. Extremely uncomfortable and definitely hard to sleep in!